Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a people-oriented profession that has long been in existence to serve the needs of mankind. It evolved as a formal discipline at the start of the 19th century with the advent of society’s need for increased mobility and convenience. The role of the civil engineer has always been one that deals primarily with public works: the planning, design, and construction of airports, bridges, buildings, and transportation, irrigation, flood control, water supply and waste disposal systems. These civil engineering works not only manage our environment, but are part of the environment itself and, by their very nature, have important social and economic impacts.

The civil engineering curriculum is designed to give the student a sound education in preparation for this role. The first two years include courses that deal with the principles of mathematics, physical and engineering sciences on which engineering concepts are based, as well as courses in humanities and social sciences and introductory courses in engineering and design. The last two years are devoted to developing the necessary technical competence, as well as the ability to apply the knowledge that the student has acquired to the design and synthesis of complex civil engineering projects. Project-based learning is an essential ingredient, and a year-long, client-based capstone design project highlights the senior year.

The entire curriculum is oriented to develop a student’s ability to think critically and logically. Upon graduation the student will be able to adapt this ability to the engineering environment of his or her choice. The curriculum in civil engineering will provide the student with the capacity for professional growth, either by advanced study or as a practicing professional engineer. A student may also use this academic background as a stepping stone to a position in management, administration, law, or some other non-engineering field.

Civil Engineering Department's Mission Statement

To provide an excellent civil engineering education that prepares graduates to develop into professionals who will exceed the needs of their employers, clients, and community in a continually changing world.

Civil Engineering Department’s Program Educational Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes*

Program Educational Objectives

      I. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to perform essential engineering functions in the design, management, or construction industry.

     II. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to design/construct complex engineering systems in the broad-based engineering industry.

    III. Graduates will demonstrate their potential for technical leadership and management.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Technical Core - Solve problems in mathematics (through differential equations), probability and statistics, calculus-based physics, chemistry, and an additional area of science.
  2. Experiments - Design an experiment or experimental program to meet a need; conduct civil engineering experiments, and analyze and interpret the resulting data.
  3. Engineering Problems - Develop problem statements and solve well-defined engineering problems in four technical areas appropriate to civil engineering.
  4. Engineering Impact - Explain the impact of engineering solutions on the economy, environment, political landscape, and society; apply the principles of sustainability to the design of engineering systems.
  5. Contemporary Issues - Explain the impact of historical and contemporary issues on the identification, formulation, and solution of engineering problems.
  6. Design - Design a system or process in more than one civil engineering context to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, constructability, and sustainability.
  7. Multidisciplinary - Function effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
  8. Professional/Ethical - Analyze a situation involving multiple conflicting professional and ethical interests to determine an appropriate course of action and explain the importance of professional licensure.
  9. Communication - Organize and deliver effective verbal, written, and graphical communications.
  10. Engineering Tools - Apply relevant techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools to solve engineering problems.
  11. Life Long Learning - Explain the need for and demonstrate the ability to learn on their own, without the aid of formal instruction.
  12. Leadership - Apply leadership principles to direct the efforts of a small group.
  13. Service - Use one's time and skills to benefit an individual or community without cost to the recipient.
  14. Project Management - Explain key concepts in project management, and develop solutions to well-defined project management problems.
  15. Business and Public Administration - Explain key concepts and processes used in business, public policy, and public administration.
  16. Cultural and Global Awareness - Analyze and interpret cultural perspectives and social systems that define human characteristics.

The civil engineering program uses the term "educational objective" to describe the expected accomplishments of our students in three to five years following graduation. The term "student learning outcome" is used to describe knowledge and skills at the time of graduation.

The civil engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Environmental Engineering Minor

The Environmental Engineering minor includes 6 required courses and 8 elective credit hours. The required courses provide an introduction to the overall field of environmental engineering. The elective courses allow the student to tailor the minor to their interests.

The 6 required courses are as follows:

CE 460   Introduction to Environmental Engineering
CE 471   Water Resources Engineering
CHEM 264   Introduction to Environmental Science
CE 463/CHE 461   Unit Operations in Environmental Engineering
CE 564   Aquatic Environmental Chemistry
CHEM 251

  Organic Chemistry I

Organic Chemistry I Laboratory

And 8 credit hours from the following courses:

CE 562 Advanced Wastewater Treatment
CE 563 Advanced Water Treatment
CE 565   Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulation and Treatment
CE 566   Environmental Management
CE 567   Applied Hydrologic Modeling
CE 568   Applied Contaminant Transport Modeling
CE 569   Treatability Studies
CE 570 Modeling Open Channel Hydraulics
CE 573   Groundwater Analysis
CE 590   Special Problems
CE 598   Stream Restoration (Environmental River Mechanics)
CHE 465   Energy and the Environment
CHE 470   Safety, Health, and Loss Prevention
BIO 320   Ecology and Environmental Biology

  Dr. Michael A. Robinson,
Department of Civil Engineering
Olin 225D, 812/877-8286

Plan of Study

Freshman Open Close
Sophomore Open Close
Junior Open Close
Senior Open Close


*A Technical elective is any four (4) credit course in chemistry, computer science, engineering, life science, geology, mathematics, biomathematics, or physics.
**Student shall choose any 400 or 500 level CE elective course, designated with the"CE" prefix, as a CE Elective, in consultation with their advisor.
***At least 4 hours of science elective must be in a natural science outside Chemistry or Physics.

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